Being abandoned by his family every Christmas as a child had set off the downward spiral. Thirty years later, he had finally hit rock bottom. Cassandra lay naked on the bed, her skin blotchy and bruised, the needle still hanging out her arm. He shelled out the notes from his wallet and left them on … Continue reading HOME ALONE 13: HOLIDAY IN THE HACIENDA


Agnes loves Christmas. As soon as they finish forking out a small mountain of sweets to the trick-or-treaters at Halloween, Agnes starts her Christmas build-up. It starts small. A few 'extra' items in the supermarket shop: a decoration here; a little snack food there. Then wrapping paper, cards, presents. Before November is out, Archie is … Continue reading FIRST SNOW


The first freeze of the winter brought patches of treacherous ice. Archie watched the school children sliding joyfully along. Behind him, Agnes hummed Christmas songs as she hung baubles on the tree. 'Tis the season to be jolly, tra-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.' Archie imagined what he would do with the large icicle hanging from the tree in … Continue reading FESTIVE CHEER


She wandered through empty rooms, smiling sadly at the lifetime of memories swirling around. The house was too big for her alone. Next year it would be sold. The decorations lit up the living room. Tomorrow would be filled with laughter and joy. One last family gathering in their home. Written for the Scottish Book Trust’s … Continue reading ONE LAST CHRISTMAS


Maria sat on the bench looking at the crowd gathered on the dark street. She thought back to her old home in England. Last year there had been a snow storm and everything was covered in a glistening white blanket. Maria had joined her friends building a snowman, sledging and laughing during snowball fights. Christmas lights twinkled … Continue reading CHRISTMAS LIGHTS